Henry VIZARD 1775 - 1866
Portrait in Dursley Town Hall. Artist unknown
Fourth child of of William VIZARD 1735 – 1807 and Ann PHELPS 1744 – 1824
Born 1775
Died March 1866
Plaques at Vizard Close, Woodmancote, Dursley, a sheltered retirement complex replacing the alms houses.
Henry Vizard was a generous benefactor and philanthropist for Dursley
1) 1834. HENRY VIZARD gave the National School house and ground, and the master’s residence.
2) In 1843, he gave four cottages and a building in Bower's Court for establishing and supporting an Infant School, and endowed it with £1000
3) In 1853, he gave six cottages and gardens for alms-houses for three men and three women, and £2000 as an endowment, to be spent in repairs, payment of taxes, and allowance to the inmates.
4) In 1855, he gave £200 to the Gloucester Infirmary, on condition that it should admit one in-patient and one out-patient annually from Dursley.
5) In 1856, he gave £500, for blankets and clothing for the poor on St. Stephen’s Day. (Boxing Day)
From ‘Dursley and its Neighbourhood’ p. 90 by John Henry Blunt 1823 - 1884
Dursley Bank Notes
His name appears on the Dursley Bank Notes of the time as one of the governors.
For such a local and well-known Benefactor there appears to be little written about his life. We just catch snippets of his activities.
In 1840, the local solicitor and benefactor, Henry Vizard, purchased both the building and the right to hold markets from the then lord of the manor, Thomas Grimston Bucknall Estcourt and then, in December 1841, assigned them to seven trustees appointed on behalf of the town. The market ceased to levy charges on the stall holders in December 1849.
From The Town Hall Dursley, Wikipedia
St Mark’s Church, Woodmancote, Dursley
St. Mark's church was consecrated on 16th April 1844 and was presumed open for worship in 1847 when the first church wardens were appointed. The church was built partly to accommodate the poor people of the parish who could not afford to purchase a privately owned pew in the parish church. Many people of the area did not have enough money for food and clothing let alone a sufficient to pay a pew rent especially since the collapse of the woollen trade in the area. However, thanks to the great benefactor and philanthropist Henry Vizard, who gave the land to the Diocese for the church and burial ground, St. Mark’s was built.
Woodmancote and the John of Gaunt connection, together with the Phelps family
The town of Dursley extends itself eastward in a long suburb which is supposed to have been originally called Wodemancote from being the residence of the officer who had charge of the vast woods which formerly grew in this district.
This Manor has always been separate from that of Dursley and was for some time part of the great possessions of the Berkeleys of Beverston. It does not appear in Domesday Book, nor among the estates of the Berkeleys of Berkeley, and its history before the thirteenth century is unknown. About 1220 it was in the possession of the De Gaunts of Beverston, Maurice de Gaunt having then made a grant of land in the township to the Nuns of Clerkenwell.
That Lord of Beverston forfeited many of his Manors to the Crown, and probably Woodmancote was one of them, for in 1325 it was held by Robert de Swineburne. It was purchased again for the Berkeley family by Thomas, Lord Berkeley, who also purchased Beverston from the Ap Adams. It was held by his son, Sir John Berkeley of Beverston, and by the descendants of that Knight, until 1557, when Sir John Berkeley sold it to Henry Lambert, a merchant of London. It continued for a century in the Lambert family, but they parted with it in 1670 to John Arundel, whose descendants again sold it, in 1736, to John de la Field Phelps, the head of a Dursley family.
[Henry VIZARD’S mother was Ann PHELPS 1744 – 1824, daughter of John de la Field PHELPS 1711 – 1755]
In 1847 St. Mark's Chapel of Ease was built on land given by Mr. Henry Vizard, whose liberality also was largely shewn in its endowment: but it has no special features of archaeological interest that need description. It is part of the Rectory of Dursley but has wardens of its own. (There follows a list with several Vizards mentioned, including Henry Vizard 1848 – 61.
From ‘Dursley and its Neighbourhood’ p. 91-92 by John Henry Blunt 1823- 1884)
(Beverston is about seven miles away from Dursley.)
A very old county family
The Vizards are a very old county family who have lived for many years at Dursley Gloucestershire. The Almshouses in Dursley were built by the family during the Victorian period, and one wall of the Church is covered with their Memorials. The earliest date I can recall is during the 15th century, but they must go back much further, as there is a story that they were descended from John of Gaunt (1340 -1399), son of Edward III.
Frances Ann Roper (née Hubbard 1975)
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